As a child, jugglers really fascinated me. They throw and catch clubs, balls and fire torches as if it is the most natural thing to do. Even now I will stop and watch if I spot a juggler.
I can still follow a juggler with 3 balls, but I am losing track as soon as there are more than three balls involved. I really don’t understand how they do it, the alternation between throwing left and right, higher, lower, from behind, through the legs….. watching it gives me a sense that something magical is happening.
I feel this seems the same for doing research: it is almost magical. You juggle with numbers, statistics, theories, results, analyses and boom, a fantastic conclusion appears and your PhD is finished! Title in the pocket!
But of course, both juggling and doing research isn’t magic. There is a system.
Watch this video. It shows you juggling from a higher perspective.
And this video clarifies a lot. Juggling is not just throwing something randomly in the air and catch it, there is a system involved.
This also applies to research. You have to use a system. Are you stuck with your research, your literature overview, your methodology?
Choose a different perspective
Consider matters from a different angle, think backwards, accelerate, slow down. Try to figure out which system you are using at the moment and if it actually suits you. Or maybe you are not using any system at all and just throwing balls at random in the air.
Examen your methods of working, your system, your process. It will really help you gain insight and clarification.
Inspired by juggling? This video shows a beginner tutorial to juggle with three balls with the professional juggler Taylor Glenn.